Mumbai: Hours after liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s diplomatic passport was suspended, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday sought a non-bailable warrant of arrest against him.
The ED moved a special court in Mumbai seeking the non-bailable warrant and the matter is expected to come up for hearing today.
Mr Mallya, who had refused to appear before the ED on three occasions when summoned between March 10 and April 2, had left the country on March 2, the day the consortium of 13 banks that had lent him money had closed in on him by moving the Debt Recovery Tribunal.
The consortium also later rejected his offer of paying an initial installment of Rs. 4,000 crore and settling the rest of the amount later.
Failing to respond to the ED summons, Mr Mallya had repeatedly sought fresh dates but the agency declined any further relief.
On April 9, in reply to the last summons, Mr Mallya had informed the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case that he will be unable to depose personally as scheduled citing the ongoing legal proceedings going in the Supreme Court over settlement of loans.
The agency had issued fresh summons in the first week of April to Mr Mallya asking him to appear on April 9 after he sought two extensions from the earlier dates of March 18 and April 2 citing official reasons.
The officials said that while seeking extension Mr Mallya had informed the ED that cases related to bank loans were currently sub-judice in the Supreme Court and he was trying to settle these loans with the help of his legal and corporate team and, hence, would require some more time.
Mr Mallya was first summoned by the agency to “appear in person” at its office in Mumbai on March 18 but he sought more time citing his prior engagements, following which the agency asked him to depose on April 2.
Mr Mallya was also directed by the Supreme Court to disclose all assets owned by him and his family in India and abroad by April 21.
The liquor baron is reported to be in the UK after he left India on March 2.
The ED has registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on a First Information Report or FIR registered last year by the CBI.
The agency is also investigating financial structure of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and looking into any payment of kickbacks to secure loans.